Science fiction writer needs help on sci-fi weapon

  • #26
Drakkith
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Talking of sci-fi: IIRC the lensmen used "neutralisation of inertia" for a comparable project ...


*) How? controlled annihilation of matter? anti-matter? tapping the next convenient sun?
What? Who are the lensmen?
 
  • #28
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Lensman starts of being sort of sci-fi but then IMO fully enters the realm of magic with progressively more and more fantastic technology and psionics (mental powers). If are familar with superheroes, just consider it the same as Green Lantern (which was inspired by Lensman).

It (Lensman) was undoubtedly groundbreaking in its time but since that time there's been much better stuff written.

My main peeve with military scifi is that people research the science aspect but not the military, resulting in galaxy hopping space commandos who for example have no smart weapon that can shoot around corners or over barricades.
 
  • #29
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How about incorporating the weapon as a source of thrust? Or instead of shooting it just drag the projectile behind the vessel. The recoil would be untolerable to humans while still keeping the barrel of reasonable length for the most part. Have you ever read The Killing Star? Thats a pretty good one and the aliens in it use relativistic weapons.

Also, this site has all the info you could hope for regarding weapons and propulsion for spacecraft. It actually uses sound physics too. The nuclear shaped charge is quite interesting. Look into Bremsstrahlung as well, its on the site under the Particle Beams section in Conventional Weapons. The particle beams proposed to be used in SDI actually were to use Bremsstrahlung to destroy the ICBM`s electronics.

http://www.projectrho.com/rocket/spacegunconvent.php#id--Nukes_In_Space--Nuclear_Shaped_Charges

http://www.projectrho.com/rocket/spacegunconvent.php#id--Kinetic_Kill_Weapons

http://www.projectrho.com/rocket/spacegunconvent.php#id--Particle_Beams

http://www.projectrho.com/rocket/spacegunconvent.php#id--Laser_Cannon

http://www.projectrho.com/rocket/spacegunexotic.php#id--Relativistic_Weapons


I dont know why I provided all those links when you can just navigate on the right side of the page. But anyway, there you go. They also touch on other issues like colonization but eh, thats not my thing.
 
  • #30
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i'm getting so precise now about this weapon that it looks unfeasable because of the need of an inertial dampening system. i'll save that for another thread. the atomic rockets reference was very helpful. thanx easyrider, and every one else!
 
  • #31
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Why do you need inertial dampening?

First, if you do, there are ways around it. One of the rifles I own has the action free to slide backwards in the stock. i.e. only part of the weapon, and not the whole weapon, nor the whole ship, needs to recoil.

Second, it's not necessary to completely negate the recoil of the weapon. The A-10 aircraft has aboout 80 kN (kilonewtons) of thrust and its cannon generates upwards of 45 kN of recoil when fired. The plane does not fall out of the sky, but does stagger in flight.

If the weapon is unfeasible I believe it is do with the fact that it's (in my opinion) a bit of a one trick pony and probably less effective than just blowing up a bunch of nuclear warheads.
 
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  • #32
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There was a story by A C Clarke (perhaps Earthlight - it's a long time since I read it) about a similar weapon deployed in a war between Earth and Lunar mining colonists.
 
  • #33
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rorix_bw first,if i had the magnetic accelerator absorb all or even most of the recoil and not the whole ship then i'm placing all of the force against less anchoring mass; i.e., the force that can cause my ship to recoil at 12Km/sec will accelerate the recoiling mechanism 100x faster. the weapon would tear itself through the ship and out the back.

second, if i don't have inertial dampering the sudden recoil acceleration would turn the crew into strawberry jam.

third, your A-10 aircraft does not have to worry about relativity complicating things.

but, yes you are right i should just use a bunch of nukes.
 
  • #34
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i'm not gonna do it. i'm comitted to the magnetically accelerated slug even if the nukes are more feasable option. i'm at the point where the storyline is more important. maybe the target race has fission damping technology that wouldn't allow nukes to work.
 
  • #35
Drakkith
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i'm not gonna do it. i'm comitted to the magnetically accelerated slug even if the nukes are more feasable option. i'm at the point where the storyline is more important. maybe the target race has fission damping technology that wouldn't allow nukes to work.
Nukes could simply be a more *covert* means of mass destruction since you don't need a massive launcher and projectile, just a 300 pound small warhead. Also, your weapon doesn't have to be one round, it could fire a burst of rounds at less velocity and accomplish the same thing without destroying the weapon itself.
 
  • #36
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Drakkith, thanks for the input. the multiple round option would make the weapon effective on other ships also.

anybody;what if i made the each successive magnet more powerful than the previous magnet? would that make a recoil mechanism effective with the larger slug? also i would counter thrust so no inertial dampering would be necessary.
 
  • #37
Drakkith
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Drakkith, thanks for the input. the multiple round option would make the weapon effective on other ships also.

anybody;what if i made the each successive magnet more powerful than the previous magnet? would that make a recoil mechanism effective with the larger slug? also i would counter thrust so no inertial dampering would be necessary.
I'm not sure what that would do. I don't think it would make the recoil easier to manage, probably the opposite actually. As long as the recoil isn't too high it can be managed. Another option is to increase the length of the "barrel" of the weapon and increase the time it takes to accelerate the object to your required speed. That would reduce the force delivered to the weapon/ship and make it easier to manage, plus make your counterthrusting more effective.
 
  • #38
DaveC426913
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...what if i made the each successive magnet more powerful than the previous magnet?
Note that each successive magnet is going to be acting on a round that is moving successively slower, so there's no need for each one to be stronger than the last.
 
  • #39
Drakkith
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Note that each successive magnet is going to be acting on a round that is moving successively slower, so there's no need for each one to be stronger than the last.
Why is the round moving slower?
 
  • #40
DaveC426913
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Why is the round moving slower?
Sorry. I misunderstood. Never mind.
 

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